Guam’s Asia Pacific Airlines grounded by FAA

Two Asia Pacific Airlines cargo freighters parked on the tarmac.
エムティ, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON – The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an emergency suspension of Guam based cargo operator Asia Pacific Airlines.

The suspension of the airline’s operational authority by the US regulator came after the agency issued a statement claiming the operator was “unable to demonstrate that its pilots were properly trained”.

According to the news source Honolulu Civil Beat, the FAA issued the suspension order on Wednesday, stating that the carrier had “failed to produce records showing that the two individuals who provide proficiency checks for company pilots were properly trained and qualified for the past two years.”

It is understood that the US regulator had raised the matter of possible non-compliance with the airline in December 2022, and urged it to suspend operations until the issue was resolved.

The carrier continued operations despite this request.

The Honolulu news source quotes that the suspension of Asia Pacific airlines cargo operations will have a major impact on the region, given the fact that the carrier is the sole cargo provider for some island states.

These nations include the Federated States of Micronesia, American Samoa, Palau and the Marshall Islands.

Appeal to NTSB

Asia Pacific Airlines have now appealed to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), requesting a review of the FAA’s determination of an emergency suspension.

The airline states that it “only received a digital copy of the emergency order at the time of filing this appeal and notes it has been prejudiced by the inability to review the evidence FAA used to support the EOS.”

The airline points to the fact that it is operated in the region providing cargo services for more than 25 years without any accidents or serious incidents.

Asia Pacific Airlines went on to state that they held a contract with K&S aviation services Inc., a training service centre holding a 14 C.F.R part 142 certificate, under which they employed the two individuals in question to provide contract check pilot services to them.

The carrier went on to point out that their services are relied upon to provide life-saving medications including insulin and other essential goods to the members of the FAS and other Asian Pacific islands.

In addition, they say that American Samoa relies on their services year-round for perishables, mail, medicine, and other critical goods.

The airline states that: “At the time the Emergency Order was entered, the two Check Pilots had completed a full retraining program.”

They state that in essence, “there is no basis for the FAA to declare an emergency under 49 USC §46105(c).”

About Asia Pacific airlines

Headquartered in Guam, Asia Pacific Airlines was originally formed in 1998 to provide jet cargo services to Micronesia and the Western Pacific region.

The carrier now services the entire Pacific region with scheduled and ad hoc charter services, operating out of bases in both Guam and Honolulu.

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
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